International day of older persons

In 2060 almost one in three people in Slovenia is expected to be 65+ years old

The International Day of Older Persons is marked by activities which focus on the elderly, their presence and the attitude towards them. Workshops and conferences are organised, old people’s homes invite visitors etc. The slogan “active and healthy ageing” is gaining importance.

  • 24 September 2015 at 10:30
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The share of the elderly is rising; by 2060 almost one in three people in Slovenia is expected to be 65+ years old
According to the latest available data, on 1 January 2015 almost a fifth of the population in Slovenia was aged 65+, which indicates that our society is ageing. Women prevailed with three fifths of the elderly population.
The latest Eurostat forecasts regarding population projections (EUROPOP2013) for Slovenia indicate that by 2060 the share of the elderly in the total population structure is expected to rise to almost 30%. The projections by 2080, however, predict a different scenario; the effect of the “baby-boom” generations will have faded out and the population pyramid is expected to gradually regain stability.

Data reveal that people in Slovenia still retire relatively young
In the last few years we have seen the increasing number of beneficiaries of old age pensions, the increasing life expectancy at birth, the decreasing labour force and consequently the increasing expenses of the pension and disability insurance, which could affect the sustainability of public finance in the long run. All this gives rise to the need to change legislation on pension and disability insurance, thereby trying to ease the pressures on the expenses of the pension and disability insurance fund (especially by increasing the retirement age and lowering the pension percentages). Does this reflect in the statistics, and how?
According to the data of the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, there were on average 609,000 pensioners from the compulsory insurance in Slovenia in 2014 (a fifth more than in 2005). In the observed 10-year period the number of old-age pensioners increased the most (by a little more than a third, from about 315,000 to 426,000).
In the observed period, the average age at retirement did not change much, even though this would have been anticipated. Namely, in 2014 the main category of pensioners, i.e. old-age pensioners, on average retired at these ages: women at 58 years and 11 months of age (i.e. only 1 year and 8 months later than in 2005) and men at 60 years and 11 months of age (i.e. 9 months earlier than in 2005). Yet, in this 10-year period the average length of receiving the pension increased, which is in line with the life expectancy at birth indicator, which is also on the rise. The differences between the genders are clear: in 2014 men had on average been receiving their pensions for 16 years and 11 months (i.e. 11 months longer than in 2005), while women had been receiving their pensions for 23 years and 1 month (i.e. 3 years and 5 months longer than in 2005 and much longer than men).

In Slovenia poverty among the elderly is slightly lower
According to the latest data collected by SURS, in 2014 about 290,000 persons in Slovenia lived below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, so the at-risk-of-poverty rate was 14.5%. Among these, there were 55,000 (19%) persons aged 65+, so their at-risk-of-poverty rate was 17.1% and it differed according to gender: for men it was just below 11% and for women it was twice as high: almost 22% (the difference increases with age). In comparison with the previous year, this rate decreased in the case of the elderly aged 65+ (by 3 p.p.). This is interesting, as – presuming that these persons are mostly pensioners – the average amounts of pensions started to decrease in 2012 and also the shares of average net pensions in the average net income decreased. Most likely the pension recipients had also other sources of income (when calculating the at-risk-of-poverty rate also the incomes of other household members are taken into account).

The activity of persons aged 65+
According to the December 2014 data, among all the persons in employment (799,758) – their number increased for the first time after 2010 – there were 2,092 persons aged 65+ (0.26% of the total number of persons in employment). This share has increased since 2005 by 0.10 p.p. The number of persons in employment aged 65+ has increased by almost 60% since 2005. Among the population aged 65+ their share was 0.57% and it increased by 0.14 p.p. over 2005.

Every year there are more people in care in old people's homes in Slovenia
In December 2013 almost 17,700 people lived in old people's homes (almost a third more than in 2006). Among the people in care there were also those younger than 65+, but their share was low (in December 2013 just over 6%). Most of the persons in care were aged 80+ and their share increased every year (in December 2013 it was about two thirds). Most of the persons in care were women (almost three fourths). According to age structure, the main reasons for living in old people's homes were, of course, illness and old-age (80% of persons in care) or inability to live alone.

About 59,000 recipients of various long-term care services
The mentioned population in old people's homes represents one of the potential users of the system of long-term care that presently is not legally regulated in Slovenia, but is being prepared. In line with the international methodology, SURS has prepared and published data on potential recipients of long-term care and the expenses thereof. International organisations (OECD, Eurostat, WHO) determine long-term care as services required by people with reduced functional capabilities (physical or cognitive) who consequently depend on long-term care in performing the basic activities (ADL; personal care services) and/or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL; assistance care services). Thus, inclusion in the system of long-term care is certainly not subject to age, but according to 2011 and 2012 data the share of persons in long-term care aged 65+ was about two thirds (almost every ninth person aged 65+). The first data for Slovenia indicated that in December 2012 there were about 59,000 potential users of the system of long-term care. The share of those who received the services of long-term care in institutions was approximately the same as the share of those who received these services at home; both shares accounted for about a third (21,000 people). They were followed by those who were only beneficiaries of funds for paying for various services related to long-term care (over a quarter of them or about 17,000 people). Total expenses for long-term care in Slovenia in 2013 amounted to 1.31% of gross domestic product. Expenses for long-term care namely consist of the health part and the social part: in Slovenia in 2013 the expenses for the former accounted for EUR 314 million and for the latter EUR 153 million.

Education structure of older persons
In 2014 almost every ninth person in Slovenia aged 65+ completed tertiary education, while one in two completed basic education or upper secondary education. The data revealing that the elderly are included in various forms of (in)formal or non-formal education, training and cultural activities are interesting; for more see appendix.

Infographic 1: Education of the population, Slovenia, 1 January 2014
Infographic 1: Education of the population, Slovenia, 1 January 2014
When making use of the data and information of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, always add: "Source: SURS". More: Copyright.